For the first time in the history of Leo Burnett, the Leo Burnett India operations have been recognised as the ‘Global Agency of the Year’ at the Burnett Awards. The year saw Burnett add and lose businesses, but the agency scored a dream run on the various international awards platforms. Nitish Mukherjee, Managing Director, Leo Burnett India explained that at the centre of an interesting 2008 was the agency’s ‘humankind’ philosophy.
Leo Burnett India has been chosen as the Global Agency of the Year from among 94 Burnett offices in 86 countries across the Network. The India office also won the Gold Pencil for outstanding achievement in creativity across traditional and non-traditional media for Luxor Highlighters.
Arvind Sharma, Chairman India, Sub-Continent, Leo Burnett, who was present to receive the award, in an official statement, said, “Being judged the best office in the No. 2 network in the world is an achievement we’re very proud of. What is more heartening is that these awards come close on the heels of the Leo Intel Award for planning excellence announced a week ago. Together, these prove our mettle across Creative, Planning and Business results.”
The other important wins in the year for Leo Burnett have been at Cannes Lion 2008, where the agency bagged two Gold Lions; One Show where it won a Gold; GoaFest 2008, where it bagged two Grand Prix. The other wins in 2008 included Art Directors Club, New York Festival, Andy’s, Media Spikes, Clio’s, Adstar and London Festival.
The year has also seen Leo Burnett add businesses like Reliance Globalcom, Tata Capital, Delhi Daredevils, Hindustan Petroleum and Indian Express, among others. According to Mukherjee, 2007-08 was the year of change at Leo Burnett India. He explained, “It has been the rethinking mode for us. Disruptive changes in the communication landscape and the way people interact with and understand brands are forcing us in the advertising industry to rethink the way we function.”
Mukherjee is happy even with the talent retention rate of the agency. He said, “Leo Burnett conducts an independent employee satisfaction survey across all its offices. According to this survey, Leo Burnett India had an all time high score of 85 per cent, making it one of the best places in the network to work in.”
For him, at Leo Burnett everything that matters in the business begins and ends with two things: people and their behaviour. “We are people talking to people. In order to make real human connections, we needed to put a meaningful human purpose at the centre of our brands in order to truly connect with people,” he added.
The agency has made the ‘Humankind’ focus the centre of its ‘To-Do’ list. Mukherjee elaborated, “This is the year we shed skin to become a Humankind Agency. Everything we did was designed with a ‘Human Purpose’ in mind. We believe that a brand without purpose is one that will never be understood or embraced by people. Hence, our belief is ‘Creativity has the power to transform human behaviour’.”